Chicken and rice is a classic comfort food combination that tastes so good no matter what time of year it is, and this Cuban chicken and rice adds a little international flair to your table.
The hardest thing about making this dish is finding saffron in the store that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg. The saffron is what gives this dish a bright yellow color and unique taste.
I shopped around to find a small quantity of saffron, which made the price a lot more reasonable. It was worth the little bit of shopping I had to do, because it really makes a difference in this dish. And a little saffron goes a long way.
The chicken can be served in whole pieces or with just the meat pulled from the bone in pieces on top of the rice.
Either way, it’s a colorful and delicious dish to enjoy all year-round.
Slow cooker Cuban chicken and rice recipe
Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 2 hours 15 minutes | Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes
- 3 chicken breasts, bone-in and skin-on, salt and pepper on both sides
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-1/2 cups basmati rice
- 1-1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/3 cup white wine
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 lime, juiced
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
- 1 teaspoon salt (or salt to taste)
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley, for garnish
- 1/4 cup red bell pepper, for garnish
- Add salt and pepper to each side of the chicken breasts.
- Heat a large skillet on medium heat, and add the olive oil.
- Add the chicken, skin side down. Let cook until the skin turns a golden light brown color (about 9 minutes). Turn the chicken over, and cook until the other side also turns a golden light brown color (about 6 minutes).
- Transfer the chicken to a plate, and set aside.
- To a slow cooker, add the rice, chicken broth, wine, tomatoes, lime juice, garlic, bell pepper, onion, oregano, bay leaf, saffron, salt, pepper and peas. Stir together.
- Lay the chicken, skin side up, on top of the rice mixture.
- Turn the slow cooker on to the 2-hour setting, and cover with the lid. If the lowest setting on the slow cooker is 4 hours, then set it on the 4-hour setting, but just cook it for 2 hours or until the rice is fully cooked.
- Remove the bay leaf before serving.
- Serve hot, and garnish with chopped parsley and red bell pepper.